Category: Sociology of Health & Illness

Politics of Categorization: Race and Blood

In a recent article for The New York Times, British journalist Rose George makes the case that the Red Cross needs to reassess its policy of desegregating blood based on race and ethnicity. She also argues that blood collection services need to develop initiatives to attract a more diverse pool of blood given the dearth of minority donors. George draws on the sympathetic case of a young child, Zainab, whose cancer treatment requires a rare form of blood common amongst...

Agency and structure: the impact of ethnic identity and racism on the health of ethnic minority people

Powerful people have a significant impact on our lives. Not only can their decisions affect our access to wealth, and consequent well-being, but their influence affects our very self-definition and expression. Understandings about who we are and what that means develop in light of the ways in which certain categories are understood in and responded to by wider society: what we’re told about what ‘being one of those sorts of people’ means. But while academic studies acknowledge the societal or...

First People Lost: New Statistics Show Alarming Patterns in Indigenous Death Rates in Canada

  The Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has wrapped up its hearings and is scheduled to deliver its final report early next month. The Inquiry examines some of the most extreme outcomes of violence and marginalization of Indigenous women and girls, however the factors affecting their livelihood and life expectancy extends beyond these extreme outcomes and recent research suggests there may not be cause for optimism unless there is systemic change. A research study...

Infant feeding and the need for sociology

Discussion of how mothers feed their babies is rarely out of the news. Ellie Lee, Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent reflects on the issues.  As we teach our students, the sociological imagination helps us to see the relatedness of private problems and public issues. Sociological work about feeding babies stands as an excellent example of the application of this point. Research about the public struggles over how babies are fed, and the struggles women...

Inequality and the Arts

There are currently 685 all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs) registered in the UK Parliament on topics from Afghanistan to Zoroastrianism.[1] As the name suggests, they include representatives from the main political parties, and they span the House of Commons and the House of Lords. These groups meet informally to pursue their particular areas of interest, and they vary in their levels of activity. The APPG on Arts, Health and Wellbeing was set up by Lord Howarth of Newport in 2014, to...

The Campbell Collaboration selects Wiley as new publishing partner

    John Wiley and Sons Inc. and the Campbell Collaboration are pleased to announce that the Campbell Library has selected Wiley as its publishing partner beginning in 2019. Campbell is the pre-eminent international network publishing high quality, transparent, reliable and policy-relevant evidence syntheses and maps in the social sectors to promote positive social and economic change by enabling evidence-based policy and practice. These systematic reviews and evidence maps are published in Campbell Systematic Reviews, a fully open access online...

Honesty is the best policy in healthcare, but how to make it a reality?

In healthcare, as in all walks of life, things go wrong. However, the consequences of an activity going wrong in healthcare can be a matter of life or death. How a healthcare professional and their employer deals with an error is critical to maintain public trust and ensure that a mistake is not repeated. The tragic events of Mid-Staffordshire Foundation Trust and the Hyponatremia related deaths in Northern Ireland have bought into sharp relief the importance of professionals being open...

Australian cancer physicians on the use of high cost cancer medicines at the end of life

The use of high cost cancer medicines to treat patients at the end of life (EOL) has become a contentious issue in recent years—due primarily to growing concerns about the safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness of these drugs in this clinical context. Evidence suggests that the use of high cost cancer medicines at the EOL is not cost effective; doesn’t improve overall survival when compared to palliative care; has a significant risk of serious side effects; and may reduce a...

New Editorial Team Introduction: Sociology of Health & Illness

We are really pleased to be taking over the editorship of Sociology of Health and Illness (SHI) and are excited to take the journal forward over the next few years, working closely with the Editorial Board and publishers, Wiley, as well as our authors and reviewers. We thank the previous editorial team at Cardiff University – Ian Rees Jones, Gareth Williams, Davina Allen, Joanna Latimer, David Hughes, Eva Elliot and book review editors Gareth Thomas and Rebecca Dimond and, of...

“Essentially it’s just a lot of bedrooms”: care homes and the conundrums of designing for care

My mum will be 90 next month, she lives in a care home, on the top floor which is a secured space dedicated for people living with dementia. The layout of each of the three floors of the home is the same, the design is economical with individual bedrooms off a corridor, a shared dining space, a communal living room at one end of the corridor and a ‘film’ lounge.  Bedrooms reveal a repeat pattern of en-suite shower and toilet,...

Imagining their Future Selves: Children’s Attitudes to Older People and their Expectations of Life at Age 70

Our recent article ‘Imagining their Future Selves: Children’s Attitudes to Older People and their Expectations of Life at Age 70’ published in the journal Children & Society provided an insight into children’s thoughts about older people, and how they imagine their own lives will be when they are older. So why is this important? Well, we know that the world’s population is ageing.  We also know that there has been scare-mongering about the ‘crisis’ this will cause, especially for the...

Gareth Williams Remembrance

I sit down with a heavy heart and with great sadness to write of the death of my friend Gareth Williams.  I first encountered Gareth when I was cutting my teeth in medical sociology; now a distant memory and long before he was aware of me.  Each year a diverse and ragtag band of medical sociologists would make their way to York for the annual BSA medical sociology conference and Gareth would always be there; sun tanned and relaxed and...

Highlights from the American Sociological Association Conference, ‘Feeling Race’, Philadelphia, 11-14 August 2018

This year’s American Sociological Association (ASA) conference was held in Philadelphia, on the theme ‘Feeling Race’. I attended in my role as Research Editor for the journal Sociology of Health & Illness (SHI), to network with Medical Sociologists and encourage awareness of SHI as a place to publish their work. I was excited to visit this city and had been told to do two things (work activities aside!) whilst I was there: run up the ‘Rocky Steps’ and eat a Philly...

Us too! Why it’s time to give female death by suicide some serious sociological attention!

The #MeToo campaign has had many consequences, one of which is a welcome and long overdue look at the devastating consequences of female sexual assault on the lives of women. One recent study has highlighted the long term consequences of these events on the victims by demonstrating that around 80% of women who are assaulted go on to suffer from mental health problems (see The Guardian). There are many other distressing aspects to the recent revelations but one that I...

Looking after farmers as well as the land: research with farmers in North Yorkshire’s Cornfield Flowers Project

Do farmers derive any personal benefit and well-being from their Agricultural Environmental Schemes (AES) work? Being a volunteer grower and seed guardian for North Yorkshire’s Cornfield Flowers Project (CFP) made me aware of how this project functioned differently from other, mainstream AES. The CFP capitalises upon farmers’ personal interest in arable flowers [1] Participating farmers are not paid for the work, do not sign contracts, and are not obliged to adhere to prescriptive cultivations methods imposed by an external agency. Unlike...

THE NHS: TO PROVIDE ALL PEOPLE

This article by Dr Catherine Will is originally published on the Cost of Living, a site is for all people interested in the politics, economics and sociology of health and health care. The ‘Cost of Living’ aims to provide a vibrant mix of topical comment pieces, analytical features, and contemporary reviews, related to health, medicine and health care. I offer a very contemporary comment this week, having come across this recent BBC programme for the 70th anniversary of the NHS, by...